Using synergies to combine intellectual minds and years of medical expertise, the University of Bern and Insel Gruppe are introducing a new wave of therapy with the Bern Center for Precision Medicine.
Precision medicine incorporates individual traits such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors or the specific lifestyle of patients into the treatment. Thus, enabling existing therapies to be tailored to the specific group of patients helps to avoid side effects and save costs for expensive treatments.
The world of precision medicine
Not only does precision medicine optimise efficiency and therapeutic benefit for particular groups of patients, it also allows for the development of new therapies.
Mark A. Rubin, Director of the Department of Biomedical Research and head of the newly established center, explains: “Precision medicine aims to provide patients with the right therapy at the right time; it represents the medicine of the future. ”
Rubin has international experience in precision medicine and founded the English Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, UK, and co-led the US National Precision Medicine Program in New York before being called to Switzerland and becoming a part of the revolutionary Bern Center.
The Bern Center and the benefit of synergies
At the Inselspital, University Hospital Bern (Insel Gruppe), precision medicine is already a reality today. For example, by taking and examining tumour tissue in lung cancer, it is possible to predict which medication the patient will best respond to.
Christian Leumann, Rector of the University of Bern adds: “With the Bern Center for Precision Medicine, the strengths of the University and Inselspital, which already exist today with various research groups, infrastructures and clinics, are bundled and further developed.”
The goal of the Bern Center is to essentially develop new medicines and methods to increase the quality of treatment for patients and to relieve the health system through more efficient therapies.
It will also strengthen the national and international position of the University of Bern and the Inselspital in the field of precision medicine.
For Daniel Candinas, Vice Rector of Research at the University of Bern, this is a logical step: “Precision medicine is teamwork. Clinically active physicians and researchers combine their expertise with that of data analysts, thus enabling the best diagnosis and treatment for patients in the clinics.”
The economic potential of precision medicine
“Precision medicine has huge economic potential,” says Rubin.
Over the years the university and the Inselspital have also invested in modern infrastructure such as gene sequencing, biobanks for the storage of biological samples, hardware and software for learning from large amounts of data.
The Bern Center for Precision Medicine is taking on this task in cooperation with other institutions, such as the Tumour Center of the Inselspital.
“All these initiatives are about leading the medical center of Bern into the future,” concludes Daniel Candinas, Vice Rector of Research at the University of Bern.
“The Bern economy will also benefit from a strong health location and from precision medicine”.